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CAN AM

#63
In 1971 I worked for Peter Wilkins where we built the first four Shadow chassis for Peter Bryant and Don Nichols. A real bitch to do the riveting since all the panels were black anodized and any scratch showed up like a neon light. Without a doubt the best racing series ever. And then Porsche came to play with their 1000hp go kart. .www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=89&v=9yL4_tnqc-g
Thanks.I always thought those cars were so Evil looking.
AVS Shadow Mk. I.jpg
 
#64
Shadow D 4
“Don Nichols turned up in Can-Am in 1970 with that stupid car with tiny cotton-reel wheels, the first Shadow. He approached me, but I told him his car was rubbish. I said, ‘You’re going to run out of money with stupid projects like that. What are you doing, spending your own money on racing? Get yourself some sponsorship, and get Peter Bryant to design you a conventional car.’ So he did. The money came from Universal Oil Products, who were into oil refinery technology. That was the start of my relationship with Don. “He was an unusual man. When he was small his parents were killed in a car crash – he was in the car, but survived – and he was brought up by his grandmother. In the 1930s there was a radio serial in the US, rather like Dick Barton in the UK, called The Shadow. The Shadow wore a black cloak and a black hat, and the catchline was, ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.’ Don loved that as a kid, so when he came into racing the cars were called Shadows. They were black, and Don wore a black cape, a black beard, a black toreador hat and dark glasses. Different…

“At the end of 1972 the writing was on the wall for BRM, because there was no budget for a badly needed new engine. Jackie Oliver, whom I’d worked with at BRM in ’69/70, had been driving for Don Nichols’ Shadow team in Can-Am, and he persuaded Don to move into F1. He suggested I come on board and design the car, the DN1. I got on fine with Don, but he was always a mysterious, you could say Shadowy, character. He sported a black beard and a black Spanish hat, and liked to tell you about his time in the CIA. George Follmer joined Jackie as No.2 driver. George was 39 and had never done F1, but he just got in the car and got on with it. In our first race, at Kyalami, he finished in the points, and in our second at Barcelona he got on the podium. That rather pissed Ollie off. From then on we had various problems and crashes, and didn’t score another point until Jackie was third in Canada.
Don also insisted I did the DN2 Can-Am car. His engine man came up with a 1200hp twin-turbo Chevy V8 which he said was going to win everything, but my sums said it’d do 2mpg. I drew a big car with fuel stuffed in every corner, and massive drive shafts to cope with the power. But that engine blew up every time you looked at it. We had to run with a normal V8 and it was just too big and heavy. For 1974 I said to Don, ‘let’s do Can-Am right’, and I did the DN4: smaller, neater, better-packaged, and Oliver won the title.”

Well, obviously, the DN4 was a tremendous car," he states, "and the fact that it was constructed in only 90 days meant it was ready long before the Can-Am season started in June. So I was determined to grab this opportunity to make the car absolutely bulletproof, and to this end we spent a week at Riverside and put about 1800 miles on the car. Lee Muir, who was in charge of preparing the Chevy engine, had also done a superb job."

“Don Nichols turned up in Can-Am in 1970 with that stupid car with tiny cotton-reel wheels, the first Shadow. He approached me, but I told him his car was rubbish. I said, ‘You’re going to run out of money with stupid projects like that. What are you doing, spending your own money on racing? Get yourself some sponsorship, and get Peter Bryant to design you a conventional car.’ So he did. The money came from Universal Oil Products, who were into oil refinery technology. That was the start of my relationship with Don."
Jackie Oliver​
“He was an unusual man. When he was small his parents were killed in a car crash – he was in the car, but survived – and he was brought up by his grandmother. In the 1930s there was a radio serial in the US, rather like Dick Barton in the UK, called The Shadow. The Shadow wore a black cloak and a black hat, and the catchline was, ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.’ Don loved that as a kid, so when he came into racing the cars were called Shadows. They were black, and Don wore a black cape, a black beard, a black toreador hat and dark glasses. Different…
 
#65
McLaren M6
The first car, M6A-1, was completed and ready for testing at Goodwood on June 19, 1967, more that three months prior to the opening race in the Can-Am series. The car covered over 2000 miles of testing before its debut at Elkhart Lake. Team McLaren won its first Can-Am Series with these cars designed by Bruce McLaren, Robin Herd, Gordon Coppuck, Don Beresford and Tyler Alexander. It was as simple as possible, consisting of single curvatures and square section tubing wherever they could be used. The M6A was a works car and only three were built.


Chassis: Full monocoque formed from aluminum alloy paneling bonded and riveted to steel bulkheads and carrying two 25-gallon fuel cells in the side pontoons Suspension: Unequal length upper and lower wishbones, anti-roll bar and coil spring/shock units in front. Upper and lower wishbones with twin radius arms anti-roll bar and coil spring/shock at rear. McLaren cast magnesium wheels, 15 x 8 ½ inch front and 15 x 13 ¼ rear, 2 inches wider than last years car. Fuel was carried by three rubber pods, one on either side of the driver and one under his knees.


Brakes: Girling ventilated discs front and rear, 12 inch diameter, with 16-3-LA calipers and dual hydraulic circuits.

Dimensions: Wheelbase 93.5 inches, front track 52 inches, rear track 52 inches. width 68 inches, height to the top of the windscreen was 31 inches, weight less fuel 1300 pounds distributed 40 percent front/60 percent rear.

Power came from a six liter Chevrolet V8 with Lucas fuel injection producing 525 horsepower through a 5-speed Hewland LG transaxle. The engines were prepared by Al Bartz Engines in Van Nuys, California. Bartz, formerly of Traco Engineering built the engines as part of a special arrangement with McLaren.


The body now painted in the famous papaya-orange paint-scheme was constructed of fiberglass by Specialized Moldings and would be driven by Bruce McLaren and his new teammate, Denny Hulme, whose car was slightly larger than McLaren's. The cockpit was about 3 inches wider and the wheelbase 2 inches longer. This attention to personal details made quite an impression on Hulme such that he never raced for another team.


The new car's debut came at Road America and by the end of qualifying the McLaren M6As occupied the first two positions on the grid with McLaren on pole and Denny Hulme, occupying 2nd. McLaren's time smashed the course record by 10 seconds!. The 3rd place starting car would be a Lola T70 driven by Dan Gurney who could only just manage to stay within 2 secs of the two orange cars. Hulme would go on to win the race as well as the next two, while Bruce McLaren would win at Laguna Seca and Riverside clinching the first Can-Am Championship for McLaren. Only at the last race in Las Vegas would another car than a McLaren take the checkered flag. I would be the beginning of the Bruce & Denny Show.

The M6B was the production version of the championship-winning M6A and differed very little from the original. It was built by Trojan and was offered in a rolling chassis complete waiting only for a motor to be fitted. It was in tremendous demand and a total of fifteen (plus three coupes) were built and their specifications were virtually identical to those of the M6A.
http://www.grandprixhistory.org/mclaren6.htm
 

Tom

Administrator
Staff member
#69
In 1971 I worked for Peter Wilkins where we built the first four Shadow chassis for Peter Bryant and Don Nichols. A real bitch to do the riveting since all the panels were black anodized and any scratch showed up like a neon light. Without a doubt the best racing series ever. And then Porsche came to play with their 1000hp go kart. .www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=89&v=9yL4_tnqc-g
Thanks for sharing some history !
 
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